It started with a question in March. “What about this house in Westboro? Is it private?” And, sending the first of many pictures, videos, texts, emails and miles traveled between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to find “just that right house” began.
Pictures of Elisabeth’s house were on Zillow. “You can see what I like” made understanding what she and Dave wanted easy! They want a quality built, comfortable home, with a master bedroom on the second floor, garage with work area, oh, and if possible, a swimming pool. Finding “that” home in the over-heated market during the spring of 2017, well, that was an adventure.
Many homes had wonderful pictures but sat too close to busy roads or power lines, or had cat smells, horrible driveways, or photography that hid too many flaws. The really great homes were coming on the market on Thursday (with no showings until the Open House on Sunday),and were sold by Monday!
That first marathon showing day (9 houses in 5 hours) was cold, raw and snow on the ground February day. We bounced around several towns in Boston’s MetroWest. Didn’t even make it into one home because there was a horrible fence around a nothing yard. Dave wandered each property using his expert eye to ferret out problems & dings. Elisabeth had her own system to methodically explore the inside of the house. They would call out to each other constantly…”Babe, come see this” as they made short work of each property. Elisabeth would tackle the attic. Dave always spent a good amount of time in the basement. Several marathons later, we still had not found that perfect match.
As it turned out, the Franklin School for the Performing Arts was an important piece of the puzzle in this move to Massachusetts. But, it also meant that it would be best to skip Shrewsbury, Upton, Northborough and Westborough, and instead focus on different neighborhoods – mainly, Mendon, Franklin, Norfolk and Millis. And, as soon as Elisabeth and Dave had lunch at the Miss Mendon Diner, they hoped their dream home would be close by to lobster rolls served with a glass of wine, and pie to bring back home to share with the kids!
Sometimes there was a home that seemed like it might be “the one”. But, with wetlands nearby and a spongey soggy yard, that home was quickly put to the side. Another home had everything, but the best bedroom was on the first floor! One For Sale By Owner seemed perfect, but it had a “too perfectly” manicured neighborhood. And yet another home seemed ideal, but the build out of the bonus room above the garage, required engineering modifications that reduced the size of the garage door! There was an antique home set on 6 acres along the Charles River, that was perfect, but not the right fit for their lifestyle today. One more house, with a reluctant Seller, a beautiful yard and swimming pool, needed a new chimney and had tons of radon – so, it was time to move on. And, yes, another home, was again (!) “the one” but didn’t have a good side yard to use for Dave’s work. Yikes. None of these were working. How could they all be the “wrong one”! Elisabeth and Dave were running out of patience, and time.
Should we come up for the Sunday Open House during a Nor’easter? Daughter sees the home Saturday and reports back, “maybe the house is to small?” Liz sees the home Saturday and reports back, “maybe it isn’t private enough because it sits on the corner?” But the dragonfly on the door knew. This was the one! Amazingly, although it had been shown to several buyers, multiple times, it was still on the market one week later when Dave and Elisabeth were in town… Just around the corner from the home they were trying to make “fit.”
As soon as Elisabeth and the dragonfly met at the front door, it was a match. And as soon as Dave realized that the side yard extended back behind the driveway into the woods, it was a great fit. This well-kept home with a working fireplace, many built-ins, lots of storage and a dry basement, would not be too small for them. And, together they saw the pool and the yard and could imagine their pop art statues sitting comfortably next to the koi pond (to be expanded, I hear), and pictured more trees or a fence along the side, it was private enough. And so, 20 minutes later, the Offer was written and delivered right then and there on the kitchen island, with the Seller’s cat looking on.
They knew it when they saw it. Love at first sight!